Elected representatives board the $4 million gravy train

Local reps meet once a week.

496Views 1Comments Posted 18/01/2022

The allowances that taxpayers pay to the 26 corregimiento representatives of the Municipality of Panama imply an annual charge of $811,200, or $4,56,000 per five-year period says a La Prensa report.

This is because every time the mayors of the capital district attend a session of the Council of Panama they charge $600 and this body meets once a week (52 times a year).

The figure is based on Agreement 24 of January 30, 2007, which doubled from $300 to $600 the number of allowances in municipalities whose annual income is greater than $60 million.

But, the 26 representatives of the capital commune receive another additional per diem: $250 for attending the meetings of the Provincial Council, a body that, according to article 256 of the Constitution, must meet once a month. This privilege implies a charge to the Municipality of $78,000 per year, or $390, over  five years.

The salary of the 26 corregimiento representatives of the capital district is $2,000, but each one receives another $5,000 in travel expenses. There are also other prerogatives for the presidents of the Municipal Council and the Provincial Council: they are paid representation expenses of $2,500 and $1,000, respectively.

The accumulation of privileges that local authorities have in Panama is felt more strongly in the capital district, a commune where each of the 26 corregimiento representatives earns at least $9,650 a month.

This is the product of salary payments ($2,000), transportation expenses ($5,000), municipal council allowances ($2,400 for four sessions per month), and $250 in provincial council allowances.

Additionally, three of them receive representation expenses: the president of the Council, who receives $2,500; the vice president of that corporation, who is assigned $1,500; and the president of the Provincial Council, who receives another $1,000. Currently the president of the Municipal Council of Panama is the PRD member Abdiel Sandoya, representative of the district of Betania.

These privileges imply a charge to the treasury of $3,70,800 per year.